Retrofitting Your Front Door Grip Set / Handle Set and Deadbolt
The beauty of a front door and its security can be significantly enhanced by retrofitting a new replacement grip set. The most common subdivision front door entry hardware is the tubular grip set, consisting of a pull handle latch set activated by a thumb piece from outside and a lever or knob on the inside, with a matching single cylinder deadbolt lockable with a key from outside and a thumb turn from the inside. These sets will be two separate devices but may be attached by an escutcheon plate on the outside, and or inside surface of the door.
Builders choose many styles and finishes of varying quality. The product is often substandard and consumers choose to enhance or replace front door grip sets. Whether for better form or function, when choosing new hardware there are a number of specifications consumers should look out for.
Measure existing door prep before looking for a grip set. The standard door prep for tubular grip set will consist of three holes through the door and two holes into the door from its edge. The top hole for deadbolt will normally be 2 1/8” diameter. The vertical distance will be 4½”, 5 ½”, or 6” between the centers of the deadbolt and passage holes. This vertical measurement is critical when choosing “one piece” grip sets with joining escutcheons. These top two holes are intersected by 7/8” to 1” diameter cross bore holes from the center of the doors edge. These holes accommodate the bolt on top and the latch mechanism below. It is important to note the backset of these holes, and that will be a horizontal measurement from the doors edge, it will be 2 3/4”, 2 3/8” or on rare occasions 5 inches. The third through hole will be 6” to 10” below the center of the passage set and will be no greater than 5/16” diameter. This hole is for fasteners for the bottom of the bottom of the pull handle.
These measurements should be carefully noted when shopping for appropriate replacement grip sets. Also, quality tubular grip sets come in many finishes and styles that can be purchased from building supply centers, but it is recommended, given all the variables; consumers purchase or at least consult with a qualified locksmith professional for advice and direction for the best grip set retrofit solution.